Food and Shopping - Jack

World War 2 Ration Book

Before the Second World War started Britain imported about 55 million tons of food a year from other countries. After war was declared in September 1939, the British government had to cut down on the amount of food it brought in from other countries as German submarines started attacking British supply ships. There was a worry that this would make food supplies scarce in the shops so the British government decided to make a rationing book.

Rationing made sure that people got an equal amount of food every week. The government was worried that as food became scarcer, prices would rise and poorer people might not be able to afford to eat. also some people might take all the food, leaving none for others.

telling peopel that we will mack it throw

Rationing of food lasted for 14 years and ended on July 4, 1954.
Every person in Britain was given a ration book. They had to register and buy their food from their registered shops. There were no supermarkets, so people had to visit thee different shops to buy meat, vegetables, bread and other food.
When people wanted to buy some food, the thing they bought were crossed off in their ration book by the shopkeeper. Meat rationing continued for 10 years after D-Day (June 1954)
In 1946, when food was just as short as when they were in the war. but for another ten years bread was added to the ration and the sweet ration was halved.

propaganda poster teling you fix insted of throwing away

The color of your ration book was important for your health and what types of food you were aloud to eat. Your example boys and girls above 7 and under 17 were given the full meat ration eggs half a pint of milk and vegetable’s. but for pregnant women and children under 5 years old were give twice the amount of eggs vegetable’s a full pint of milk and meat.

Clothes rationing began on June 1, 1941, two years after food rationing started. Clothes rationing ended on 15 March 1949.
There was a shortage of materials to make clothes. So people were told to ‘’make do’’ so that people who worked in the shops could make Para shoots and uniforms.

The coupon system allowed people to buy one completely new set of clothes once a year.
young boy trading ration cards for food

Everyone was given a clothing book as well as a ration book. The clothing book had in it coloured coupons Every item of clothing was given a value in coupons. To buy clothes people handed over their Clothing Book to the shopkeeper, who cut out one of the coupons. They then handed over money to the shopkeeper to pay for the clothes.
Were did people get there cloths coupons from?
The government gave every person a clothes ration book full of coupons.
Why were different coloured coupons ?
Each page of coupons was a different colour to stop people using up all their coupons at once. People were only allowed to use one colour at a time. The government would tell people when they could start using a new colour.

propaganda poster

Coupons from one colour could be saved and used with the next colour.
How many clothing coupons could one person have and use
Each person was given 60 coupons to last them a year. Later it was cut back to to 48 coupons.
Children were given an extra 10 clothing coupons above the usual rate to allow for growing out of clothes in a year.
INFO and photo's taken from

Woodlands Junior School